|Craft CaféRoland Lösch is an engineer by training but when the opportunity presented itself to realise a subconscious yearning to express his attraction to gastronomy, he never hesitated, grabbed it with both hands and bought the café at the Namibia Craft Centre in 2005. It is now called the Craft Café.
The Craft Café balcony is stylishly designed with an industrial-look in the tables and chairs, softly framed by the leaves and branches of evergreen trees standing at the entrance to the Namibia Craft Centre. With ample natural light and unglazed ceramic crockery, the overall ambience is modern, urban rusticity with a hint of European nostalgia.
Lösch is a lover of Italian cuisine and this is apparent in the neat, simple and delicious fare available at the Craft Café. The fresh health bread baked daily is a staple of many a fine diner’s table and even regulars to the Craft Café struggle to recall favourite menu items. Filling, scrumptious quiche, mouth-watering cakes, huge breakfast muffins, generous coffees, dark sticky brown sugar, foaming fresh milk, freshly squeezed juices and garden-fresh salads are just some of the appetising items on the menu, justifying the popularity of the café.
In addition to a great menu suitable to all palates (vegetarians and diabetics included), the Craft Café also stocks a variety of homemade farm-style bottled preserves, a selection of imported coffees and handmade condiments. Another boon is that due to the relatively ‘intimate’ environment created by the steel confines of the balcony, the waiting staff is attentive and responsive to patrons.
Roland Lösch is a perfectionist driven by a desire to present great food combined with the perfect environment for relaxed enjoyment of a multitude of good flavours. The Namibia Craft Café is a worthy visit and the food is a worthy wait.
|Desert Garden Art & Design To experience the wild, raw sensuality of Namibian leather requires a visit to the Desert Garden Art & Design stall at the Namibia Craft Centre. It is a struggle to resist touching the variety of leather and hide handbags, pouches, key rings and leather-winged angels on display and equally impossible to ignore the generosity of spirit behind the intriguing designs.
Self-taught designer, Elsie Imhof, has successfully harnessed her background as tour guide to express a deep-seated appreciation for the Namibian outdoors and her knowledge of a variety of animal hides to create a popular range of eye-catching and attractive leather products. Each item is unique and therefore a leather lover and collector’s dream. Broad and generously cut, the lines of her designs appeal to the avant-garde and ultra chic.
Imhof started Desert Garden four years ago after a successful art exhibition and to this day, still draws inspiration for product design from her immediate environment. There are no frills and fusses to the designs; these are merely good-quality hides converted into well-made, sturdy items, perfect for everyday use. Case in point, her range of leather book covers are statement pieces, carefully stitched to reveal the great quality and selection of flawless leather, perfectly complimenting any top-level executive’s stationery.
Desert Garden offers great leather and pristine hide products for both genders, for technology, special events and children in pleasing colours with Elsie Imhof’s personal touch behind the irresistible sensuality of enduring pieces.
Desert Garden has successfully expanded its operations and now employs four women from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
|Ekipa Gold DesignGrit Bottcher, a master goldsmith, started Ekipa Gold Design a little more than thirteen years ago and proceeded to present visitors and customers at her stall with very intriguing styles, combinations and compositions of handmade jewellery pieces, indicative of a particular aesthetic which has proved tremendously popular and enduringly stylish.
Grit is a perfectionist and this quality manifests itself in the perfect geometry and smoothness of many of the jewellery pieces. Her particular aesthetic also lends itself to extremes and opposites, a calculated enjoyment thereof and a sensuality incorporating the tactile and soft in material, combined with the cold hardness of silver, bronze, aluminium and gold.
Her love for all things naturally Namibian lies at the core of every piece of jewellery, for example an enticing selection of fur-rings, springbok and Nguni hide fur-pendants, ostrich-shell pendants, seeds and recycled glass beads all set in either silver, aluminium or gold make for eye-catching, interesting jewellery with a fine, unique touch ideal for the chic and creative executive. Precious and semi-precious stones presented uncut, as natural as they occur, in precise, geometrical designs enhance the curious combination of wild Namibia barely tamed by the exact, harshness of modern jewellery techniques.
Ekipa Gold Design is a rare and pleasant shopping experience, completed by salespersons that were trained by Grit Bottcher to custom size rings and are able to make earrings and pendants while the customer waits. Prepare to receive curious looks and compliments while wearing jewellery from this fascinating stall in the Namibia Craft Centre!
The team of Emage Workshop has been crafting for over ten years and is highly equipped with the skills-development and discipline required to mesh the open-ended, unstructured artistic process on the one hand, with the goal-orientated, structured process of craft-making on the other.
Emage Workshop takes conventional, acceptable forms of products such as books, dinner plates, cups, canvas clocks and beautifully blends these with hand-craft techniques using designs which shave the border with genuine fine art, solely, albeit subtle and understated.
Recycled material, wood, sand, stones, shells and feather add the unique touches of truly wild and natural Namibia to the products. Tanya Schemmer, the founder of Emage Workshop draws her inspiration from nature and aims to present visitors to the Namibia Craft Centre stall with portable products encapsulating the haunting beauty of Namibian landscapes and the ephemeral essence of wildlife.
The visitor to Emage Workshop has enough cause to pause and ponder upon an array of products which have significance beyond their conventional uses.